24 answers

Hormone Regulation - Looking for Something More Natural (?) than Birth Control

My husband and I are done having children, and he has done the vasectomy thing. Thus, I am considering stopping the Pill (Yasmin) except for one thing: it really helps regulate my hormone levels! I'm looking for anyone who has info or experience with natural ways to level out hormone levels so I don't have to keep taking a pill (HARD for me to remember). I don't think the Depo shot or an IUD would work the same way.

I started taking Yasmin when my youngest was about 18 mos. I had started my cycle (always been irregular) for a few months after I stopped breastfeeding and went through a mild case of post-partum depression, for which I was on low-dose meds. After weaning off the depression meds, I was doing well until I missed a month of the pill (didn't refill Rx) - when my period came I went haywire, flew off the handle at little things, and felt totally angry & out of control. I was so concerned I talked to my GYN & got back on the Yasmin ..and I've been fine since. I do have a "grumpy day" at the end of my cycle, which I think I've always had (typical PMS).
As a side note, my mom has gone through a hysterectomy & thyroid cancer so she's read up on/gone through all the hormone stuff - she thinks the estrogens have a lot to do with this kind of thing. I am a very healthy weight, stay active w/ the kids & sports, and overall have never had any big medical problem - so this is kinda freaking me out!

My OBGYN has been great this whole time with suggestions and encourages my observations about the meds I am/have been on. Since my hubby had the vas, though, I figure I don't need the birth control part anymore and am wondering if I can find a different way to get the estrogen mix I need to feel "stable". Losing the daily pill and keeping an extra $25 in my pocket each month would help too!

Thanks for reading, and for any suggestions you might have.

2 moms found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

You all have given some great suggestions that I will be exploring over the next few months (it will take me that long!) For those who requested, I will try to keep you updated on what I discover. After talking w/my Mom some more I've decided to have a heart-to-heart with my OB and see what he suggests before getting off the BC. I'll also try some vitamin supplements (D, B12 & selenium), even though my diet is healthy. I'm only in my early 30s, so I have time to figure this out. Thanks, everyone!

Featured Answers

L. if you receive any responses to this request, I'd be interested in them as well. I too have stopped taking birth control (hubby got a vas) but I did like the regularity of the monthly cycles. I'm 42 with a 17 and 11 year old and the doc said I don't need to be taking the birth control pills any longer but it's hard to know when I'm going to cycle since it is not regular. Let me know what you find out. Thanks!!

I suffered from major mood swings due to PMS. Dr.s recommended either hormones or drugs. I did want to take either so I did some research. There are many foods that help reduce PMS. Just Google search food for PMS. I also started taking Evening Primrose Oil. My mood swings are much better, even hubby says so. I also found a book that has been very informative: Dr. Bob's Drugless Guide to Balancing Female Hormones, by Dr. Robert DeMaria. I hope this helps. I know my mood swings were pretty scary. I became this person I did not recognize nor could I control.

More Answers

Two suggestions: First, have you talked with your doctor about bio-identical hormones? Not all doctors are familiar with using them, but they offer many of the benefits of HRT without the estrogen side-effects of synthetic hormones. (ie, cardiovascular and cancer dangers). You can find out more by googling "bio-identical hormone replacement therapy" and find a practitioner in your area.
Second, a qualified nutritionally-oriented practitioner can give you advice about specific nutrients (diet and supplemetation) to help regulate your hormone levels. Either a naturopath, chiropractor or holistic practitioner who is well-versed in using nutrients would be able to assist. Best of luck.

Since your husband has had the vas, it's my understanding that you don't need any form of birth control. You can let your body level out naturaly and be happy.

You are telling my story!!! I was having the same hormonal problems...only had other symptoms as well and my hubby has had a V, so didnt want to be on birth control (I actually felt like a mad woman on birth control), but I found 2 natural ways that have worked for me (after spending a small fortune on testing my thyroid,etc). The first was recommended by my endocrinologist. She diagnosed me with PMDD and said that Chasteberry (Vitex) and Vitamin 6 were vry effective with balancing hormones. I took 1 pill a day (Natures Way, Femaprin had the doses she recommended). This worked awesome! I noticed just after a few weeks that I felt great, my cycles were regular, etc. Then after another cycle, I started having alot of anxiety and heart palpitations. I thought it might be the femaprin, so I stopped for a few days to see and sure enough, the anxiety went away...but my smptoms came back. The vitex increases your dopamine which was too much for me and caused the anxiety and heart palps. So, I have now started doing progesterone cream (from Natures Own herb store on Burnet Rd) on days 14-28. It is helping with almost all of the symptoms. I still feel really irritable, but my husband travels and I have 2 boys (2 and 1)...so how much can I actually blame on hormones?? grin!

Good Luck to you! If you try anything that works for you, I sure would love to know if you dont mind updating me!

E.

L.,

You sound like you have more of an issue of progesterone than estrogen. Depression (especially post-partum) is typically a factor of insufficient progesterone levels.
I would recommend finding someone who is proficient (and proficiency in this field is important) with bio-identical hormone replacement. They will test your blood (maybe saliva or urine depending on their particular preference. I prefer blood, however) and have you fill out a health questionnaire which together will show your hormone imbalances. Then...they can correct them using natural products.
I'm not sure where in Austin you are located, but you can probably start by googling "bio-identical hormone therapy" or "natual hormone replacement." Then ask for some referrals or ask your friends if anyone has had a positive experience.
Good luck. You sound like the perfect candidate for its success.

J.

You need to get off of the Birth Control. It will damage your liver. You should stay pretty regular because you have been on it so long. I was the same way. I started to take a multi vitiamn and I rotate a calium and iron pill. It has reduced the signs of PMS and I am not depressed anymore.

Diet and exercise are the two things God has given us to regulate hormones. Omega fatty acids and fruits and veggies are something to pay attention to. Eat lots of nuts as well.

It takes a while for it to kick in. I'd start a regimen a couple of months before stopping the pill.

Best wishes!

Hi L.,

I have the same problem! I told my doc that he had to help me b/c my kids were going to run away and I'm going to get fired from my job!!!! He prescribed me Estrodol. I take 1mg per day 5 days before my period. It works! And it's only 1mg and you take it as needed. Ask your doc about that. Good luck!

Oil of Evening Primrose and Flax Seed Oil has helped me regulate and reduce breast tenderness.

My periods were irregular and I felt pregnant all the time with bad PMS symptoms. I started seeing an accupuncturist weekly and taking chinese herbs and after 3 months my cycles are normal and I'm not having the PMS symptoms except maybe a mild headache sometimes. It's not a cheap fix though, it's cost me about $85 week, but once the hormones are balanced, you don't have to go back so often. You might want to do some research on your own. I've had friends who've had good luck with bio-identical hormones as well. Good luck!

I have heard good things about "natural hormones " from the health food store. I have heard they work . I got thru menopause without hormones .m I am 52 and i am almost thru menapuse. But some of my friends tell me that natural hormes are great . So Good luck with what ever u decide to do God bless , G.

Hi L.,
I would do some research on vitamin supplements, such as B12 & folic acid. Research has shown that both of these vitamins are not just used for anemia, birth defects, etc... If you can, try and find a CCN (clinical certified nutritionist). I bet someone in this particular field can put you on a good program and get you balanced if you should decide to discontinue the bcp. I just recently learned of a CCN in San Antonio. In fact, I am going to see her soon for various reasons. I have to be honest, they are not cheap and most CCN do not take insurance. However, if it is beneficial, then I say, "it's worth it!" If this is something that interest you, let me know and I will give you her name. In the meantime, do some research on the vitamins mention above. I am sure B6, magnesium, etc... have benefits as well, but I would definitely get some sound counsel before changing your regimen. I am amazed how some of the people I talk with tell me how much this has helped them. Any how, let me know if your interested? Blessings!

Arbonne has two hormone creams that you should read up on.
Call me or visit our online site.
A. ###-###-####
www.arbonne.com

L.,
Listen to FM 700 from 12pm to 1pm Mon thru Friday. Dr Hotzi (spelling) has a great program for exactly this sort of thing. He helps a lot of people regulate their hormones naturally and there are testimonials on his show all the time. After listening a few times you can decide if you want to see him for treatment. He is in Katy.

I suffered from major mood swings due to PMS. Dr.s recommended either hormones or drugs. I did want to take either so I did some research. There are many foods that help reduce PMS. Just Google search food for PMS. I also started taking Evening Primrose Oil. My mood swings are much better, even hubby says so. I also found a book that has been very informative: Dr. Bob's Drugless Guide to Balancing Female Hormones, by Dr. Robert DeMaria. I hope this helps. I know my mood swings were pretty scary. I became this person I did not recognize nor could I control.

L.,

I have 2 daughters, and I suggested to them to stay away from birth control pills, I lost my friend at age 50 because the birth control pills had damaged her liver (side effects)

They are young and of course do ohter alternatives.
when you get older and go thru menopause, you will also go thru hell and back, I almost died,

I believe in accupuncture, totally, It is the best.
Now
I drink a daily dose of a wonderful juice , so do my daughters,
and we have stayed away from drugs and their terribel side effects,

Dr. templeman speaks of hormonal balances in his audio
listen to it. www.DailyHealthJuice.com, click on audios and click on this dr or dr Vaugh Johnson.
it will help you alot,

plus good (no synthetic) vitamins.

good luck

Oly

I have had very good results with a Naturalpathic Doctor...there are many out there, and they provide a lot of information on how to regulate things with food and food suplimenting

L.;
As a user of NHRT I can tell you BEWARE of OTC hormones, they will play havoc with your system, specially if you are somewhat prone to related illnesses... Look up some good natural dr, that willprescirbe or point you on the general way of bioidentical hormones.
A good place with knowledgable and helpful staff is Bellevue Pharmacy Solutions, try speaking to Pete Huseman, he may also tell you about dr close by.

www.bphamacysolutions.com
Hope everything turns out good...
T.

I am in the same boat. I read the 30 day hormone cure by Dr. Erica Schwartz and a book by Dr. Christine Northrup . Both are in the houston library. I went to see a md in med cnter that uses natural hormones and I will be finding out my test results in a few weeks. I too had mood swings, anger, hot flases, night sweats . I am 49. From what Iunderstand all the negative about hormones is based on synthetic hormones and not any studies on natural hormones. That being said I don't want to be on them for very long. Just so I can get over the hump and then slowly ween off. This is very possible with natural hormones.

i've taken yasmin the last couple of months...and my pms is awful....do you think that can be a side effect of it?

L. if you receive any responses to this request, I'd be interested in them as well. I too have stopped taking birth control (hubby got a vas) but I did like the regularity of the monthly cycles. I'm 42 with a 17 and 11 year old and the doc said I don't need to be taking the birth control pills any longer but it's hard to know when I'm going to cycle since it is not regular. Let me know what you find out. Thanks!!

There are creams you can get. Did you talk to your Dr about that? I use Crinone but that is probably more then you actually need (I use it to keep preterm labor at baby but it is commonly prescribed to women in menopause.) My mom uses a hormone cream she puts on her hand.

There are a couple of doctors in San Antonio who work with natural hormones - one of them is off Huebner and I10. Her name is Dr. Christine Salmon - here is her information:

11467 Huebner Rd # 200
San Antonio, TX 78230
###-###-####

The other doctor is Stone Oak. Her name is Donna Becker, DO
Enhancement of Life
###-###-####

I actually wrote an article about Dr. Salmon and it will come out in the August edition of Welcome Home (Stone Oak paper). She is amazing at balancing woman's hormones because she has been there, done that!

They both deal with natural hormones, and also bio-identical hormones. Some of them are applies via a topical cream, others through pill form. Unfortunately I don't think the treatments are covered by insurance, so you will have to pay out of pocket.

Hi, L..
I'm right there with you, sister!
I recommend two GREAT books-Womens' Bodies, Womens' Wisdom and The Wisdom of Menopause, both by Christiane Northrup. MD. Both of these books outline hormone replacement therapy AND natural methods of dealing with hormones. You didn't mention your age. I am 50 and don't take anything except Vitex (Chaste Berry) and Omega Brite (fish oil). Yes, I'm tearful and/or irritable right before my period, but it's usually justified. ;-) My husband and kids are patient and loving and that helps!
Good luck to you!
D.

Arbonne Prolief and Phyto Prolief work great!
msg me back if you would like me to help your get your hands on some.
Peace Mama,
A.

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